Gas Prices Could Reach $4 Again Next Year

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What Happened

Gas prices could fall slightly in the coming months, but they're unlikely to stay low throughout 2023. Analysts think prices could peak at $4 per gallon or more next summer. "2023 is not going to be a cakewalk for motorists. It could be expensive," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

So What

GasBuddy's 2023 Fuel Outlook offers some good news for motorists who are still reeling from an extraordinary year, price wise. It predicts the yearly national average will drop to $3.49 per gallon in 2023, almost $0.50 less than 2022.

The report points to increased global refinery capacity as a reason for optimism. However, it raises concerns about economic uncertainty, climate issues, and the war in Ukraine. It says the average household spent about $2,748 on gas in 2022, almost 40% more than the year before. GasBuddy predicts average gasoline spending will decrease slightly to $2,471 in 2023. 

Now What

High gas prices can put a big dent in our bank account balances. But there are ways you can reduce the pain:

  • Driving less: Many Americans changed their habits this year because of high prices at the pump. Some cut their mileage by combining errands or cutting non-essential trips. Others switched to public transportation or opted to walk or bike to reduce costs. 
  • Regular car maintenance: Vehicle checks can improve safety as well as efficiency. For example, Fuel Economy says that replacing a clogged air filter or inflating your tires could help you squeeze more miles from each gallon.
  • Maximizing rewards: If you spend a lot of money on gas, see whether a gas credit card could work for you. It's also worth finding out if gas chains you use regularly have loyalty programs.
  • Shopping around: Gas prices vary from pump to pump, so watch out for lower-cost gas stations in your area. There are several apps that can help you find the cheapest gas near you, including GasBuddy and AAA.

Many Americans rely on their cars to get to work or take the kids to school, making it difficult to avoid high gas costs completely. However, a few shifts in behavior could translate into decent savings, particularly if gas prices start to creep up again in the summer.

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